ABC TV on top at 2021 AACTA Awards

ABC programs have claimed an unrivalled number of the nation’s top television prizes at the AACTA Awards, with wins for best drama, factual, children’s, narrative comedy, comedy entertainment, miniseries, factual entertainment, documentary and short-form entertainment and comedy programs.

ABC drama The Newsreader, produced by Werner Film Productions, led the haul at the national screen awards with five gongs, including for Best Drama Series, Best Direction and Best Lead Actress in a Drama for Anna Torv and Best Supporting Actor for William McInnes.

ABC programs and people claimed 22 AACTA Awards in total, including multiple wins for the searing ABC drama Fires (Best Miniseries or Telefeature), inspiring factual series Love on the Spectrum (Best Factual Entertainment Program) and popular comedy Fisk (Best Narrative Comedy Series). The much-loved Gardening Australia won two Audience Choice Awards, for Favourite Entertainment Show and Favourite Television Host for Costa Georgiadis.

Feature documentary My Name is Gulpilil, produced by Vertigo Productions, also won a brace of awards for Best Documentary and Best Editing in a Documentary, at a ceremony that featured multiple tributes to the late Indigenous actor David Gulpilil.

Other big ABC winners included Bluey (Best Children’s Program), Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds (Best Documentary or Factual Program) and Hard Quiz (Best Comedy Entertainment Program).

Wednesday’s AACTA Awards ceremony came as two new reports highlighted the ABC’s invaluable support for Australian content and creativity. A Deloitte Access Economics Report found ABC screen commissions contributed $744 million to the economy and supported more than 8000 roles over three years – playing a critical role in the viability of the nation’s production industry.

Separately, Screen Australia’s Drama Report found the ABC provided the most finance for Australian drama across ABC TV and ABC iview of any single platform, investing $42 million – up 22 per cent on 2019/20 – on 17 titles that commenced production in 2020/21, including Total Control, Aftertaste, Superwog and Jack Irish.

Michael Carrington, ABC Director Entertainment & Specialist, said: “Congratulations to our extraordinarily talented ABC teams and production partners for taking out so many of the top AACTA Awards, led by extraordinary drama The Newsreader. This year’s awards are also testament to the strength of the entire Australian screen sector, which has excelled despite the challenges of working during COVID-19.

“As highlighted by the Deloitte Access Economics Report, ABC-commissioned productions play a crucial role in supporting Australia’s economy, workforce and culture. The AACTA Awards reaffirm the value of that role to all Australians and the essential contribution of the ABC to the success of our industry.

“We’re proud to back more homegrown content than any other media company and to help underpin our amazingly creative and accomplished screen sector.”

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